AP Courses

The Advanced Placement (AP) Program is a cooperative educational endeavor between high schools and colleges, and is based on the principle that many students are capable of completing college level studies in secondary school. The majority of US high schools participate in the AP program, and more than a thousand colleges grant advanced standing and/or credits to students presenting satisfactory examination grades. The exams consist of multiple choice questions, free-response, and oral response.  These test are optional for the student and therefore it is the student's responsibility to register and pay the fee associated with the exams.  The Advanced Placement Courses offered at Alton High School and their course descriptions are listed below.  Feel free to speak to the AP teacher and/or your guidance counselor to help decide if a certain course is right for you. For further information regarding AP visit http://collegeboard.com.

Taking AP Exams

Students interested in taking the Advanced Placement Exam should:

    1. Pay for the exam on time, and take it on its scheduled date in May.

    2. Students will receive their test results in July. Scores will also be sent to Alton High School and any colleges designated by the student.

See also Understanding Standardized Test Scores for additional information on the AP exams and how colleges grant credit.


Current AP Courses Offered at AHS: 
Art History – Honors AP - 00110 

No experience in the history of art is assumed for those students who take the course. Students who have done well in other courses in the humanities, such as history and literature, or in any of the studio arts are especially encouraged to enroll. Students will examine major forms of artistic expression from a variety of cultures, past and present. They learn to look at works of art critically, with intelligence and sensitivity, and to analyze what they see. Student projects will include writing, critical thinking and hands‐on activities. Various field trips to art/historical sites are included. (Textbook Janson)

College Prep. English 4 Composition Honors – AP - 01600 

College Prep. English 4 Honors students will develop various types of writing assignments frequently required in college: description, illustration, compare/contrast, analysis with research, and writing in response to reading. Students will review grammar/ usage concerns, continue vocabulary development, and examine literary texts to enhance analytical skills. 

College Prep. English 4 Advanced Composition Honors – AP - 01610 


CP 4 Honors Literature is a writing course designed to apply and hone the argumentative writing skills learned in first semester CP 4 Honors. This writing will be both from and about a wide variety of literature organized thematically. As time permits, students will also practice the writing of literature. As a member of this class the student will gain confidence in the ability to read, write, and think critically about literature. Students will participate in cooperative groups and support each other in this exploration of literature. Students will sharpen their editing and revising skills and further develop the ability to incorporate research materials in writing. 

French 4 Honors ‐ AP - 02240 

Students in French 4 Honors/ AP begin to perfect their oral communication skills through the analysis and discussion of authentic texts and other media. Students at this level complete an intensive review of French grammar and linguistic structures, which prepares them for the demands of both French and English courses at the university level. Various literature, including prose, poetry, and lyrical media, provides a context in which to expand students’ knowledge of French syntax and communicative methods. Emphasis is placed on a student’s ability to summarize, analyze, and evaluate a variety of situations and abstract concepts while speaking French. Critical discussions, essays, role-playing and original dialogues will be prepared in French for oral and/or written presentation, further reinforcing the student’s ability for collegiate achievement. Students research famous historical and literary figures, expand their knowledge of French history, and analyze current political and cultural events. Suitable French films provide excellent listening practice. As an Advanced Placement Course, outstanding students will have the opportunity to take the College Board AP Test in the spring for college credits, which are recognized by most colleges in the United States. Most colleges also look with favor upon applicants who have AP classes on their transcript.

German 4 Honors AP - 02340 

Students will continue developing their abilities to understand and use written and spoken German. Students will express their opinions, both orally and written. Students will review and refine the grammar they learned in the previous German courses. Students will read several short books in German, including at least one of their own choosing. Students may study some aspect of German pre‐20th century history. As an Advanced Placement Course, outstanding students will have the opportunity to take the College Board AP Test in the spring for college credits, which are recognized by most of the colleges in the United States. These same colleges also look with favor upon applicants who have AP classes on their transcripts. Students in the fourth level of German also have an option to take the course for dual credit with LCCC. Students must pass the entry-level English reading comprehension exam given by LCCC to enter their program. Upon successful completion of the fourth level class, they will have accumulated 16 credits in German, which may be transferred to other universities. Students are advised to verify acceptance of these transfer credits by their chosen university.

Spanish 4 Honors – AP – 02540 & 02550 

Students in this class apply the skills of the three previous years of study. Advanced grammar activities strengthen students’ command of spoken and written Spanish. Class members develop such skills as narrating past, present, and future experiences and the ability to express feelings, opinions, and hypotheses. Oral activities develop the students’ abilities to carry on more challenging conversations and to communicate in basic survival situations. Students read a sampling of major Spanish literary works to strengthen skills. Critical thinking activities offer students 50 opportunities to analyze, both orally and in writing, various topics. A strong emphasis will be placed on the students’ spoken fluency and interpretation of Spanish language. As an Advanced Placement Course, outstanding students will have the opportunity to take the College Board AP Test in the spring for college credits, which are recognized by most of the colleges in the United States. These same colleges also look with favor upon applicants who have AP classes on their transcripts. Students in the fourth level of Spanish also have an option to take the course for dual credit with LCCC. Students must pass the entry-level English reading comprehension exam given by LCCC to enter their program. Upon successful completion of the fourth level class, they will have accumulated 8 credits in Spanish, which may be transferred to other universities. Students are advised to verify acceptance of these transfer credits by their chosen university.

Calculus AB Honors AP – 04050 & 04060 

This course is designed to develop students’ understanding of the concepts of Calculus and provide experience with its methods and applications. The concepts, results, and problems, will be expressed geometrically, numerically, analytically, and verbally. Students should understand the meaning of the derivative in terms of rate of change and local linear approximations; work with functions represented graphically, numerically, analytically, or verbally, and should understand the connections among these representations. Students should understand the meaning of the definite integral both as a limit of Riemann sums and as a net accumulation of rate of change, and understand the relationship between the derivative and integral. They should be able to model problem situations with functions, differential equations or integrals, and communicate both orally and in written form, represent differential equations with slope fields, solve separable, differential equations analytically, and solve differential equations using numerical techniques such as Euler’s method. Students are encouraged to take the AP Exam: Calculus AB.

Calculus BC Honors – AP - 04070

Students are required to have a TI-84 or TI-Nspire graphing calculator. All of the topics in Calculus AB will be covered in addition; students should be able to interpret convergence and divergence of series using technology to help solve problems. They should be able to represent functions with series and find the Lagrange error bound for Taylor polynomials. Students are encouraged to take the AP Exam: Calculus BC. 

Biology II Honors‐AP – 0476H 

This course is the equivalent of a college introductory biology class for biology majors. Laboratory experiments and lectures will provide an in‐depth study of the cell, genetics, biotechnology, organic molecules, evolution, ecology, and the adaptations of plants and animals. Prospective Biology 2 students must pick up their summer assignment packet during the week of spring finals from the main office. The packet takes approximately twenty hours to complete and is due the first week of school in the fall. Field trips may require extra cost. Students will be encouraged to take the AP test in the spring.

Chemistry 2 Honors – AP – 0489H 

A scientific calculator is required for this course along with a composition notebook. This is a college chemistry course intended to prepare students for careers in natural science, health science, and engineering. Special emphasis is placed on problem solving, laboratory experiments, and analytical thinking. Additional activities may include special reports, projects, demonstrations, and guest lectures.

Physics 2 Honors A-AP – 0517M

In this course, students will study matter, energy, and the relationship between mass and energy. Students will experience hands-on college –level laboratory activities, and lecture presentations. Problem solving and increasing problem solving ability will be emphasized. Guest lectures and individual research will be offered. Students will be encouraged to take the college Board Advanced Placement Physics 2 test in the spring.

Physics 2 Honors B – AP – 0518M 

Physics 2 Honors C - AP- 0578M 

In this course, students will study matter, energy, and the relationship between mass and energy. Students will experience hands‐on, college‐level laboratory activities, and lecture presentations. Problem solving and increasing problem solving ability will be emphasized. Guest lectures, field trips, and individual research will be offered. Students will have the option to take either the non-calculus course (0518M) which will prepare them for the College Board Advanced Placement Physics 1 test in the spring, OR they can take the calculus course 0578M which will prepare them for the College Board Advance Placement Physics C Mechanics test in the spring.


2018 AP Exam Administrations

May 7th - 8 a.m. - Chemistry; Spanish Literature and Culture     Noon - Psychology

May 8th - 8 a.m. - Seminar; Spanish Language and Culture    Noon - Art History; Physics 1: Algebra Based

May 9th - 8 a.m. - English Literature and Composition    Noon Japanese Language and Culture; Physics 2: Algebra Based

May 10th 8 a.m. - United States Government and Politics    Noon - Chinese Language and Culture; Environmental Science

May 11th - 8.a.m. - German Language and Culture; United States History    Noon - ET Digital portfolios for Studio Art


May 14th - 8 a.m. Biology; Music Theory    Noon - Physics C: Mechanics    2 p.m. - Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism

May 15th - 8 a.m. - Calculus AB; Calculus BC     Noon - Computer Science A; French Language and Culture

May 16th - 8 a.m. - English Language and Composition    Noon - Italian Language and Culture; Macroeconomics

May 17th - 8 a.m. Comparative Government Politics; World History    Noon - Statistics

May 18th - 8 a.m. - Human Geography; Microeconomics    Noon European History; Latin